BRI continues its efforts to assess environmental mercury deposition across North America in a new initiative for the western region of the continent. With insight and experience gained from the two previous synthesis efforts, researchers will collect state, provincial, and federal measurements of mercury in biota, air, water, and soil to better understand spatial and temporal trends in mercury accumulation and deposition in western regions of the United States and Canada, as well as in areas of Mexico.
In a regional mercury study that encompassed the largest freshwater ecosystem in the world, BRI collaborated with the Great Lakes Commission and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to compile a wide variety of mercury data. In this study, 170 scientists and managers compiled and evaluated more than 300,000 mercury measurements. Primary results have been published in 35 scientific papers in the journals Ecotoxicology and Environmental Pollution. A summary of the research is presented in the report, Great Lakes Mercury Connections: The Extent and Effects of Mercury Pollution in the Great Lakes Region.
The Great Lakes mercury research builds on a landmark study for which BRI and Environment Canada led a comprehensive effort to compile mercury data from across the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. As a result of that effort, 21 scientific papers were published in a special issue of Ecotoxicology and summarized in BRI’s report, Mercury Connections: The Extent and Effects of Mercury Pollution in Northeastern North America.
BRI has developed several networks that link research programs and provide an arena for shared methods and data. MercNet is a proposed comprehensive long-term mercury monitoring program focused on ambient concentrations, mercury deposition, watershed cycling, and biological effects.
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